The Institute of Russian Studies at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies was established as the Institute of the Soviet Union and East European Issues on January 13, 1972 in Seoul. In those days, the international community was dominated by cold war ideology, which made any communication or exchange between the Republic of Korea and the Communist bloc virtually impossible. The IRS was the first research center that began collecting and examining periodicals from the Soviet Union, North Korea, and other socialist states. Being the only Soviet Union and East European Issues research institute in Korea, the IRS was able to obtain an unrivaled position in this field. In a country where little research was being conducted on socialism, the IRS exerted a strong influence on the direction of these studies, leading the discourse on communism. From the early 1990s the IRS began to narrow its research subjects to Russia and the CIS region. Concentrated studies on the economies, politics, societies and cultures of the CIS region and Russia became the focus of the Institute. In 1993, the Institute officially changed its name to the Institute of Russian Studies, and in July of 1999, due to space constraints, the IRS relocated to Hankuk University’s Global Campus in Yongin.

The IRS regularly invites distinguished scholars from Russia and other parts of the world to give special talks.
Invited speakers come from diverse academic fields, including politics, economics, and literature.


EU Research Institute Baltic Countries Research Project Group hold joint academic conference “De-Russianization and economic development strategies of the Baltic countries”


Our research institute (Director: Sang-Yong Pyo) held an academic conference jointly with the Baltic States Research Project Group of the EU Research Institute in the conference room on the 11th floor of the university headquarters at the Seoul Campus on Friday, September 15th.



This academic conference, which started with a greeting from Hong Wan-seok, dean of the Graduate School of International and Area Studies, and a keynote speech by former Ambassador to Russia Park No-byeok, was held under the theme of 'De-Russianization and economic development strategies of the Baltic countries' and was held by the Baltic countries consisting of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. It has become a venue for various discussions about the current situation.


The first session of the seminar was 'Changes in the social status of the Russian diaspora in the Baltic countries' by Seo Jin-seok, senior researcher at the Baltic Research Center at the EU Research Institute, and 'Total Russophobia: The Ukrainian War and Anti-Russianism in the Baltic States' by Ra Seung-do, HK Research Professor at the Russian Institute. Attention’, Professor Kim Bong-cheol of the Department of International Studies (Director of the EU Research Institute) gave a presentation on the topic ‘Status of International Law in the Baltic States and Structure of International Treaties’. Through this topic, the presenters of this session expressed various opinions on erasing traces of Russia in the Baltic countries.



The second session included three topic presentations on the agenda regarding the growth potential and economic development strategies of the Baltic countries. Taejae Future Strategy Institute's Dr. Daesik Lee's 'Estonia's Growth Potential and Economic Development Strategy', HK Research Professor Kim Seon-rae of the Russian Research Institute's 'Latvia's Growth Potential and Economic Development Strategy', and Research Professor Lee Ha-yan of the EU Research Institute's Humanities and Social Research Project Group's 'Lithuania'. A presentation was made on the topic of 'growth potential and economic development strategy'.


Director Hong Wan-seok, who was in charge of research at the Baltic States Research Project Group, explained the purpose of this academic conference while introducing the background to Korea's first attempt to conduct research on the Baltic countries through support from the National Research Foundation of Korea. Kim Bong-cheol, Director of the EU Research Institute, who co-hosted this seminar and opened the Baltic Research Center, said that this seminar marked the beginning of full-scale research on the Baltic countries in Korea.


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